Yamaha’s factory MotoGP team has lost a major sponsor for the second year in a row. Malaysian oil and gas company Petronas will not be extending its sponsorship agreement with the Yamaha team, ending a three-year relationship.
Last year, the Yamaha team lost the title sponsorship of automobile manufacturer Fiat. For the past year, Petronas was the largest brand to adorn the factory Yamaha racebikes, as illustrated from the photo above of Ben Spies riding the 100cc 2012 race bike at the post-season test in Valencia, Spain.
The team’s next most prominent sponsors are Yamaha’s Indonesian subsidiary YMKI and Yamalube, both part of Yamaha’s overall corporate family.
Yamaha will need to find some new sponsorship money soon, hopefully from outside of the company itself. Factory riders Spies and Jorge Lorenzo‘s contracts both end after the 2012 season, and Yamaha will likely want to re-sign one or both of them, while Andrea Dovizioso is waiting in the wings with the Tech 3 Yamaha satellite squad for a spot on a factory team.